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More Local and State Help for Alzheimer's Racial Gap

Tom Flanigan

Southside Tallahassee's Old West Enrichment Center was the site of an all-day seminar on Saturday, June 29 for those who are Alzheimer's patient caregivers. The event particularly was intended for the African-American community, which is nearly twice as susceptible to the disease as the general population.

Event keynote speaker Sohelya Mahdavian from the FAMU College of Pharmacy said lack of access to timely healthcare is one reason for that racial gap, although that's getting better locally.

“Even though we might not be able to get to the top doctors, we do have doctors here in town who do cater specifically to our patient population who might not have the best insurance,” she pointed out. “They can still go and seek medical care.”

On Friday, June 28, Governor DeSantis signed a bill making more money available to both research and address the Alzheimer's racial gap. Melanie Lachman, Upslide Program coordinator at the Tallahassee Senior Center saw that as a big positive.

“It’s absolutely a good thing!” she exclaimed during a program break. “Anytime that something that is needing to be fixed is recognized and is working towards getting fixed, helps. And this is going to impact the seniors that we serve every single day.”

Meanwhile, as Saturday's seminar showed, more resources are also filling the gap when it comes to the needs of those who care for Alzheimer's patients.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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